“God help the outcasts,
Hungry from birth;
Show them the mercy
they don't find on earth;
God help my people,
we look to you still;
God help the outcasts,
or nobody will.”  
 The Hunchback of Notre Dame,

Old TomIt was a bitterly cold and dark delta morning
Which truly matched my very sombre mood
I was in yet another devastated neighbourhood
Helping to distribute bags of dog and cat food

A sudden horrifyingly sad lament
Broke the eerie early morning calm
I looked down the dead deserted street
And saw him lying under a downed palm

He was very emaciated and terribly weak
This old tom cat had truly been left behind
As I sadly walked up to his dark hiding place
My heart broke when I saw that he was blind

It was evident that he had been attacked
By a pack of starving roaming canines
He had numerous bleeding body wounds
Life after Katrina for him had not been kind

I knelt down in the mud and dirt with him
And let this pathetic creature sniff my arm
Then I gently stroked his filthy bleeding fur
Trying to assure him that I meant him no harm

I also offered him some food and water
But he was too sick and he quickly declined
And I wondered how many others just like him
In the very dark days ahead that we would find

But old Tom seemed grateful for some company
He huddled closer to me with very faint painful cries
So I picked him up and I held him gently in my arms
And with one last heartbreaking sigh this old cat died

I buried this blind old creature
Beneath that uprooted palm tree
And this dark New Orleans morn
Was truly the saddest one yet for me

As I sombrely drove off in my old truck
My heart and my soul felt as dark as the night
And a feeling of remorse about modern morality
Filled my troubled thoughts with his kind’s plight

These days we seem to care very little
About other life forms on our planet
And I sadly mourn our loss of reverence
Since life should never be taken for granted

I also sadly know that many will haughtily proclaim
What’s the big deal – old Tom was just a cat not a man
But I believe that we have failed miserably as His caretakers
In God’s very ancient compassionately designed Creative Plan

©2006, Ed Kostro

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A Cats Purr

"Cats make one of the most satisfying sounds in the world: they purr ...

A purring cat is a form of high praise, like a gold star on a test paper. It is reinforcement of something we would all like to believe about ourselves - that we are nice."

Roger A Caras

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